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Monday, January 26, 2015

A Date with Yuma’s Agritourism

25 Year Old Medjool Date Palms at Martha's Gardens Date Farm Yuma Arizona

Agritourism in the United States is a fairly new concept, so you might be wondering, what is agritourism?  According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of agritourism is “the practice of touring agricultural areas to see farms and often to participate in farm activities.”  In this age where we want to know exactly where our food is coming from, agritourism is the perfect addition to a vacation itinerary, and Yuma, a small agricultural town in Arizona, is the perfect travel destination for agritourism. 

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans Music

Bean & The Boys featuring Kathleen Moore at 21st Amendment New Orleans
Bean & The Boys featuring Kathleen Moore at The 21st Amendment La Louisiane.
New Orleans is like no place in the world I have ever been when it comes to music.  Chris McIntyre of 21st Amendment told us New Orleans does three things well, cocktails, food, and music, and nothing could be truer.  No matter the time of day, the music of New Orleans can be heard somewhere in the French Quarter.  It calls to you like the Sirens’ song, plaintive melodies drifting down the streets, beckoning for you to follow.  And follow you should. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

An Outsider’s Guide to Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Props Jesters Mardi Gras World New Orleans

Before we traveled to New Orleans I didn’t know much about Mardi Gras.  I knew there were crowds, beads, and flashing.  I had seen clips on television of costumes and masks and floats.  I had heard from one or two people that visitors could still get a feel for Mardi Gras without going on the actual day, but rather going in the days before, and that it was a lot less crowded then, but I didn’t really understand what that meant.  Now that I’ve been to New Orleans, I have a much better understanding of what Mardi Gras means, and it is so much more than one day of drunken revelry.  Even when it’s not Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras is part of New Orleans year-round in the museums, restaurants, and stories of the people who live there and know that Mardi Gras is the greatest time of year. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hiking San Diego’s Stonewall Peak Trail

Snow on a Fallen Tree on San Diego's Stonewall Peak Hiking Trail

One of the great things about San Diego is that you can visit the beach and the mountains all in the same day.  Believe it or not, sometimes those mountains in San Diego County actually have snow.  Descanso is located in the Cuyamaca Mountains in San Diego County and has one of my favorite San Diego hiking trails, Stonewall Peak Trail.  Stonewall Peak Trail is a beautiful hike any time of year, but if you can coordinate your hike to occur after it snows, it is that much more beautiful. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Weekend Getaway to California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel Beach at Sunset Carmel-by-the-Sea Weekend Getaway
Carmel Beach at sunset.
I had always wanted to visit Carmel-by-the-Sea.  I imagined a posh town by the ocean filled with large, sparkling white buildings, high-class shopping, palm trees swaying, gentle waves lapping at the sand, and me walking along the sidewalks with my two little dogs at my side.  Living in San Diego, the thought of a weekend getaway to California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea seemed so easy.  Yet we hadn’t ever seemed to make it happen.

Monday, December 22, 2014

10 Top Foods to Try When Traveling in China

Hairy Crab 大閘蟹 in Xibao Shanghai China
Hairy crab in Xibao.
So you’re traveling to China.  You’re probably wondering, what do people eat in China?  They can’t possibly eat the same items I pick up from my neighborhood Chinese restaurant in those cute little take out boxes.  It is true that many of the foods in China are very different from what we are used to getting at home.  (Though surprisingly, orange chicken is actually an authentic Chinese dish, but so much better in China than that gooey sweet stuff we have at home.)  Through a lot of research, some great food tours in China, and a little bit of happenstance, we ate the following 10 top foods to try when traveling in China. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tri-Valley: A Charming Northern California Weekend Getaway

Livermore Valley Vineyards Northern California Weekend Getaway

So right about now you’re probably wondering where in the world is Tri-Valley?  Almost every time we mentioned to friends that we were traveling to Tri-Valley for a Northern California weekend getaway, we received blank stares and the questions of where is Tri-Valley, and what is there to do there.  To be honest, other than knowing of the city of Livermore because my stepdad lived there for years, when I visited the Tri-Valley booth at the San Diego Travel & Adventure Show, I really knew very little about the region, but I was intrigued, especially when I learned it has one of California’s oldest wine regions.